Friday, September 17, 2010

Keep Testing for Throughness

During our lesson today (the first in three weeks- woot woot!) we worked on "accordion horse" with an emphasis on keeping Delphi supple and through the aids. When I remember to apply the suppling aids before during and after the transitions, especially the transitions within gaits from collection to mediums and back to collection, Delphi stays much more through.

Keeping my legs back with a soft knee helps Delphi to come under from behind. I must focus on keeping my lower leg back on her side behind the girth: Karen suggested thinking of my lower legs as a paintbrush that lightly sweeps the horse's sides hanging from my relaxed knee.

Concurrently with the the leg (and whip as needed) aids, I should keep Delphi's jaw and poll relaxed. Do this with flexions and counter-flexions, even over flexions, then GIVE somewhere to let the horse stretch down, then do flexions and counter-flexions again. Same idea with half halts: half halt strongly, but then GIVE somewhere.

Never maintain a mauling pull on the reins if the horse gets strong. Especially when returning to collected gaits from medium gates: it's okay (and necessary) to half halt strongly, but remember after each half halt there must follow a give, and the half halt must be concurrent with leg aids behind the girth, then repeat as necessary and keep repeating in all gaits and paces to keep the horse through and supple.


Jeremy said...

The paintbrush comment stuck with me too; however, I completed it much clumsier than you.